Defensive or offensive Jihad: History, exegesis vs. contemporary propagation

Part three: the Islamic propagation.

Army of Islam terrorists in Gaza 370 (R) (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
Army of Islam terrorists in Gaza 370 (R)
(photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)
Despite widespread agreement among Islamic classical exegetes, Islamic propagators and their ideological aids in the West place emphasis on the milder verses from the Qur’ān, actually showing the abrogated `Meccan Islam' in order to camouflage the living `Medina Islam'. They state that Islam is defensive in nature and that the fighting injunctions of the Qur’ān are only used in self-defense. They carefully hid the unreasonable and intolerable verses that litter all of the Medinan Suwar by stating that "those verses were taken out of context" and that they were not applicable to the infidels.
Cheragh Ali brings verses from the Qur’ān which he claims are limited or conditional, and “only two verses in the Qur’ān containing an absolute or non-conditional injunction for making war against the un-believers." But, for him, there is a rule in the exegesis of the Qur’ān, that when two commandments, one conditional and the other general or absolute, are based on the same subject, the conditional is preferred. Indeed, for Ali it is very simple: wherever you find verses contradictory to his opinion about the interpretation of the Qur’ān, it is ruled out as non-operative. If the Muslims summon their enemies to embrace Islam and they refuse to accept it, then all the Islamic wars are defensive. Moreover, all those who disagree with him are "wrong in history, chronology, as well as in understanding the scope of the Qur’ān and the tenor of the Suwar."
The comments of Mahmoud Shaltut, an Egyptian intellectual and exegete, also indicate this: "People would do well to learn the Qur’ān rules with regard to fighting, its causes and its ends, and recognize the wisdom of the Qur’ān. The role of the Qur’ān is to summon humanity to submit to Allah, as the natural process. As about war verses, they all deal with the defense of the Islamic community, and are fully legitimate."
However, the very consideration of offensive or defensive Jihād has no moral or legal foundation in Islam. Jihād is the way of Allah and therefore is to be conducted in accordance with Allah’s commandments. Wars in Islam against the non-believers are imperative and obligatory, and are considered legal and sanctioned by the Shari‘ah. The concept of Jihād incorporates a powerful and motivational tool for mobilizing people to make all the needed sacrifices for the Islamic struggle by able, mature and free Muslims to fight against the infidels. Of all the Islamic duties (A`māl), Jihād is considered the noblest, next to belief (Imān) and prayer (Salāh). A person who dies without waging Jihād, nor having the intention to fight Jihād in the way of Allah in his heart, dies a hypocrite (Munāfiq). Indeed, the Islamic movement has struggled aggressively to religiously subdue, politically conquer, and territorially expand other nations and to bring the Islamic mission to all of humanity. This was an offensive Jihād proper, with not one person among Muslims recognizing any other kind of Jihād.
The truce of ten years between Muhammad and the Meccans, in the year 628, the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, is of immense historical importance with widespread implications even until today. After 22 months, Muhammad broke the agreement and violated its terms. The message was clear; there is no legal commitment nor any other obligation whatsoever, including contractual agreements, with the infidels. Muhammad decided to march with his believers into Mecca, during the sacred fasting month of Ramadan, on January 11, 630, which marks again a forbidden act of war according to Arab tradition. After the Meccans surrendered, most of the pagans of the city became Muslims, so Muhammad and his followers were able to take over the city and cleanse the Ka`abah of 360 idols resident there.
The Hudaybiyyah affair and the conquest of Mecca were crucial turning points in the history of Islam, according to all Islamic exegetes, as they identify it with the term Fath, meaning 'opening', and hence, a conquest. Commenting on these events, Ibn-Ishāq, the most authentic biographer of Muhammad, claimed that no previous victory in Islam was greater. The most important town of Arabia, Mecca, came under Islamic rule, and Muhammad established his control over most of the area of Arabia as the head of a religious community, a military leader, and above all a political statesman. The army became the melting pot of this new community, and Jihād war was the chief means by which to achieve Islamic goals.
The conclusion for our contemporary situation is clear. Jihād is the Islamic war against all infidels, wherever they are and at all times. It is offensive in nature, and aims at controlling the entire world; humanity must come under Islamic rule and the Shari`ah must be the only constitution and law for all humanity. Those who reject this clear will of Allah must be put to death, according to Jihād. The Judeo-Christian Golden Rule and moral values do not exist in Islam, as it has an atomistic approach: anything that Allah commands is perfect and moral and must be followed without questioning. This also applies to Jihād. Except for one defensive battle, in 626, Jihād was always offensive in nature throughout Islamic history, as it is a religious command to fight others, to conquer territories and to subdue humanity.